Coffee versus Espresso; identical twins or cousins?

“Espresso and coffee, so you mean they are not one and the same?”
“Of course they are not Johnny”
So, what is coffee, what is espresso, and how close are they to each other?

Coffee and espresso are drinks made from the same plants, same beans, and most times the same roasting process is used to get the two ready for your table. Even more interestingly, sometimes, espresso and coffee are made from blends of various different blends of coffee.
Coffee and espresso are derived largely from the same materials and procedures, their paths begin to divert at the point of preparation. The preparation method sets coffee apart from espresso and gives us two related but distinct drinks.
To prepare coffee, different methods are used, i.e, French press method, pour-over method, and using drip coffee makers. No matter the method being used, the procedure for preparing coffee is generally the same. Medium ground coffee beans are generally measured based on the quantity of coffee to be made. These are placed in a paper filter placed over a cup or mug, then hot water with a temperature of about 200 degrees is poured into the paper filter filled with ground coffee beans. The water drips into the cup or jug and the coffee flavor is extracted into the water collected in the cup or jug. This is the general way of preparing the coffee drink loved and savored by millions all over the world.

Preparing espresso is a different beast from the outlined procedure for preparing coffee above. For one, a finer grind of coffee beans is used when preparing espresso. After grinding the beans, the grind is placed in a basked and tamped down with about 30-40 pounds of pressure. This process compacts the ground beans and prevents water from making holes in the grind while draining through.

Another marked difference between the two drinks is that, while you can brew your coffee and still enjoy the freshness of the brew for up to two hours after brewing, provided it is kept at a reasonable temperature, espresso is best taken immediately after it brewed. Espresso is typically served as shots, small glasses are pulled quickly through the compacted grounds. It takes about 20 seconds for the water to pull through the ground beans, waiting for a long time can affect the flavor of the shot. Another important thing with taking espresso shots is that there is a short period of time in which you can enjoy the taste of the espresso after pouring it. This is usually around 10 seconds, so be prepared to down your shots immediately you pour it before it losses taste.

From the above analysis of the preparation methods of the two drinks, we can safely conclude that, even though coffee and espresso are from the same family, they are different and distinct drinks on their own rights. If you are a coffee person, you can try the goodness of espresso for a new experience of coffee and vice versa.